Sunday, July 25, 2010

Where Was I

"Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen."
- Mark Twain

There's the kitchen. I spent the last year falling in and out of love with the water stained table, the warped linoleum tiles, the cobwebs in the corners, the rows of empty wine bottles, the rumbly washing machine, and the angsty faucet, screaming like a newborn. For most of twenty-two, I entertained guests with fried egg sandwiches and cups of coffee. Plates of re-heated spaghetti and pieces of cold pizza and stir fry over brown rice and homemade mashed potatoes and pools of melting ice cream and wheat toast with butter and tortilla chips and salsa and hot tea with milk and sugar and beer from the back of the fridge. Thanksgiving dinner, pumpkin guts, candy canes, birthday cake, wrapping paper, sappy cards, soggy Kleenex, junk from the bottom of my purse, junk from the bottom of my heart. Breakfast in silence. I look down into my cereal bowl, tears splashing into my Raisin Bran. Dinner with laughter and happily cramping bellies after drowsy days of snow. Drunk and nauseous, whining incoherently for my bed, for a glass of water, for a hug. Grocery lists and sticky notes and Oprah Magazine and Victoria's Secret catalogues and utility bills that I want to shred apart with my teeth. In February, I hated the plastic coating disallowing me a clear view of the outside world. In June, I sat and watched the early morning sun pour in through the glass, leaking all over the floor. I wrote a letter that I never sent. I took out the trash in contempt. I overloaded the dishwasher. I put my face down on the table, my cheek cool against the smooth wood, and listened for the ocean waves to sweep us up and away. I held your hand and told you it would be alright; and it was -- and it is, but it isn't the same.

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